John Maynard is filling in for Lisa de Moraes who is in New York covering the annual network upfront presentations. She's back blogging about "Idol" next week.
Melinda's gone. Blake is safe!
To quote Homer Simpson: "D'oh!"
So, how appropriate that the yellow, balding, fat cartoon character would open the penultimate results show with a not-as-funny-as-Homer-should be opening monologue. The appearance of Homer (who's got a 400th episode and a new movie to plug) is just the first of the long, long list of the Fox infomercials that litter this long, long hour-long results show.
The camera pans the finalists. Just when we thought Melinda had given up the deer-in-the-headlights, "Who, me?" look, she does it again. Maybe it is time for her to go.
Another plug: Ryan tells us to get ready for this summer's "American Idol" tour coming to a venue near you. Sanjaya, Phil, Gina, all your favorites will be back. Even Haley! (as Homer would say: "Mmmmm, Haley").
So, remember those brief video snippets on Tuesday night's show of the finalists being lauded in their hometowns. Wednesday night we get the extended versions starting with a weepy Jordin retuning to her hometown in Glendale, Ariz. The local Fox station there reports the story like a royal visit.
Same goes for the Seattle Fox station's coverage of Blake's return to that city. And wait... isn't that Jonathan Jayne in the audience who, with Kenneth "Bush Baby" Swale, got his 15 minutes of fame from that very first mean-spirited audition show.
Back live: last year's "Idol" also-ran Elliott Yamin performs a song from his new album (Warning: his tour begins Thursday night in Alexandria). We like the new teeth but he sort of looks like the Geico caveman with that that mop of hair and scraggly beard.
Paula is beyond excited to see Elliott back.
After the performance, Elliott thanks every person ever involved in the show, including the sponsors, and even makes up a sponsor: Porsche. Ryan, knowing where his bread is buttered, quickly says that's a "no-no" as Fox executives start drafting an apology letter to the show's main sponsor: Ford.
Back to the videotape for more local Fox news coverage of Melinda's teary trip home to Tennessee. One major fan who came out to see her says that Melinda "has gotten me through a lot of tough times." Really,
We're back in the studio where it appears Simon is sleeping. Hang in there, dude, just two episodes left.
Maroon 5 plays a ditty lead by the svelte, short-haired lead singer Adam Levine and backed by a bunch of long-hairs. Paula is, again, beyond excited.
Finally, it's go time. Jordin is safe. Melinda and Blake stand awkwardly side-by-side. Blake makes a lame joke about being a machine. Melinda shoots him daggers.
And then she's gone.
Editor's note: For more on last night's "American Idol," read Gene Robinson's take in the TV column.
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